(Not just because we’ve done amazing things like hang out on boats and eat lobsters and hang out with friends & family, although that never, ever hurts.)
It’s mainly because I wasn’t taking 4 classes, teaching and working a whole lot. You don’t realize how nice it is to be home by 6:00pm and eat dinner with your partner, or go to the gym at a reasonable hour, or have time to see your friends until you do have time.
My goal this year – my last year of grad school – is to try to see the bigger picture. I have one more semester left of classes. Spring term, I student teach full time. Then (if all goes to plan), I graduate. In June, we’re getting married. Bigger picture.
Yes, I might be slightly overcommitting myself this term. Yes, I might need to take the “straight-A’s-do-all-my-homework-never-ask-for-an-extension” down a notch. But the truth is, I also like to be busy. This summer of doing less has shown me that I’m okay doing more – that’s part of who I am.
But the bigger picture is that I’m also someone who needs to be reminded of the bigger picture. Priorities. One > the other. “Is this going to matter in 10 years” kind of things. I get so into “work mode” that I forget to look up, look around and see what else is going on in my life. I’m so good at putting my head down and grinding it out…part of me appreciates that about myself and part of me knows it’s not the healthiest or most enjoyable approach to things. The bigger picture is that these two years are just a stepping stone to something else.
I took these pictures during and at the end of our hike at Blue Hills Reservation today. The thing about hiking is that you absolutely have to put your head down and grind it out. You have to pay attention to what’s going on around you, noticing trail markers so you don’t get lost, picking the best places to step so you don’t fall off a giant ledge.
And then, once you’re quite sure (after 3 hours) your legs are going to fall off and your back is sore and your ankle hurts and you’re so thirsty and sweaty you’re pretty sure you’re just going to lie down here on the ground in this pine cone bed and “you go on ahead, I’m going to wait for a Ranger to find me”…you’re at the top.
And you’re reminded to look up. Look around. Because the bigger picture is totally, absolutely worth it.